SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Happy Friday, Utah! We have changes ahead!
High pressure took control midweek and brought in above-average heat with Thursday smashing records in Salt Lake City. The previous record was 92 set back in 1958, and on Thursday, Salt Lake City International Airport hit 94 for the daytime high, making it the hottest day of the year thus far. St. George also hit 100 degrees on Thursday, making it the first triple-digit day of the season in Utah’s Southwest desert. We also saw records broken and tied at weather stations in downtown Salt Lake City, Scipio, Provo, Eskdale in Millard County and at the City Creek Water Plant.
The heat has delivered a preview of the summer months, but it won’t last. We remain above average on Friday, but major changes will grip the Great Basin by Saturday. The ridge of high pressure is currently shifting to the east and allowing winds to increase. The uptick in winds will impact Southern Utah where humidity will be low combined with warmth, so fire danger rises. The fire risk will hold on Friday and through the beginning of Memorial Day weekend. Red Flag Warnings are posted for Friday and Saturday in Southern and Eastern Utah. Gusty winds could easily spread any flames that ignite. Fire danger will remain elevated as many campers and hikers hit the road and backcountry this weekend, so make sure to be extra careful amid these ripe conditions.
While Friday will be above average with mid 80s expected along the Wasatch Front, we’ll see westerly winds and slight cooling as we close out the workweek. By Friday with the high-pressure easing, we’ll add in a slight chance of showers and a few thunderstorms for the northernmost half of the state late Friday afternoon into the evening. Temperatures will come down slightly and in northern Utah, it’ll be about 5-10 degrees cooler than Thursday and about 3-5 degrees cooler in southern Utah. This is just the beginning of a weather pattern shift.
We have a series of disturbances trekking into Utah starting Friday, with a larger system set to impact the latter half of Memorial Day weekend. This will result in the cooling trend continuing while adding a chance for wet weather and at times, windier conditions. Right now, the best chance for wet weather appears to favor the northern two-thirds of the state, but by late Sunday into Monday, there’s a slight chance that some moisture could make it into southernmost Utah.
Every day from Saturday through Tuesday will bring moisture potential with the best chance being Sunday into Memorial Day. On top of that, there will be potential for thunderstorms. Right now, in the northern half of the state and in central Utah, expect thunderstorms on Saturday and Sunday. In southern Utah, winds will likely increase resulting in more high fire danger continuing through the weekend even with cooler conditions, so if you plan on heading out, be mindful of that.
Moisture potential at this point is looking healthy as most valleys in northern Utah could see over a half-inch of precipitation while higher elevations in northern and central could see over an inch! In the mountains, we’ll likely see some accumulating snow, especially on Sunday and Monday. For now, Memorial Day looks like a bit of a washout with showers and significantly cooler temperatures expected. Monday is not the best day for any outdoor plans.
Overall, the heat breaks down for the holiday weekend and daytime highs slip below average yet again heading into Memorial Day and early next week. If you have any outdoor plans for Memorial Day weekend, continue to stay up to date on the forecast!
Bottom line? Above-average temperatures for Friday, with a chance of thunderstorms in the North and fire concerns in the south!
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